The Network – a group of gifted mediums who use an energy source known as The Frequency to monitor and connect with the paranormal. However, when fifteen-year-old Rasha Abadi is visited and then possessed by a malignant shadowy figure, the Network gather all their resources to save her and themselves…
Primarily, The Frequency is a paranormal thriller with a fresh, imaginative concept that is not over-complicated, nor too simple. The beginning of the novel is immediately gripping, immensely intriguing and ably carried by Syrian refugee, Rasha. Her opening experiences are not for the faint-hearted but full of visceral impact. This is a book (and series) to invest in and one of the elements that sets it apart is the quality of the characterisation.
The characters are so well-realised and compelling that it’s hard to pick a favourite; they are all also incredibly individual, which is enhanced by the close third-person perspective. Mr Kitto also takes immense care to build their stories and personalities, the reader is not just reading about their place and involvement in the Network, but also what brought them there, their lives and loves. Their backstories and development throughout The Frequency affect not only the other mediums in the Network but also their interactions with those beyond it.
The plot is intricately layered but never becomes unreadable and maintains credibility and continuity. The idea of connecting with forces beyond normal limitations be that through projection or telepathy is always interesting but, in The Frequency, it is given a modern, refreshing twist. There is a definite contemporary relevance that renders the narrative quite thought-provoking. The ‘shadow’ is unnerving and, for a while, takes the narrative into supernatural horror territory.
It could be levelled this first book a shade too long, it does feel as if there are two or three other novels trying to break out and the narrative can become quite intense. However, the quality of the writing in The Frequency is excellent. Unusually for a book of this genre, there is a some achingly lovely and evocative descriptive imagery; ‘spearmint morning’, and ‘pirouetting in an absent breeze’, I found beautifully straightforward yet strangely profound.
The landscape of the abandoned Cornish mine for the Network added a nicely dystopian flavour which was complementary to the story and editing was faultless throughout. I also liked the artwork for the chapter headings; simple yet thoughtfully effective.
The Frequency is a well-written, ambitious and deeply involving novel that straddles several genres and does so with considerable skill. Highly recommended.